One Saturday morning, Beam reminded me that I’d promised to fix Shoeshine’s paw for her ever since we came back to Leiston from Singapore. Shoeshine is the black kitten we bought from a small shop during our six-month residence in HK.
I took the sewing kit and started working. The other paw fell off shortly after we bought it, and Dad fixed it when later we went back to Taiwan for holiday. Somehow, the picture of Dad sewing so wholeheartedly, with his spectacles on, played in the background like a soundtrack to that weekend… Just like the picture of our last hug which is deeply embedded in my head. Such sentimental reminiscence. It’s incredible that it has been almost two years since his untimely passing.
In fact, Dad’s been showing up in my dreams recently. I suppose I just haven’t got over it.
A few nights ago, after lights out, Beam Beam and I started to chat about the day, as usual.
“I went to drama lesson today.” Beam reported.
“Really?” I was surprised, because she’s declared ‘No lessons!’ when the term first started. “So how do you like it? Remember that Speech & Drama class used to be your favourite in Singapore? It’s a shame that we had to quit.”
“Oh? Why?” Beam does need a memory boost once in a while.
“Don’t you remember? It clashed with Jie Min.” Jie Min is the primary school she attended in Singapore.
“Oh yuh! Now I remember.”
“When Gong Gong and Po Po visited us together for the last time, they followed us to the drama school. Gong Gong even dozed off while waiting for you.”
“Hahaha ~” Beam giggled, “Gong GOng really liked to sleep. Remember every time we watched a movie together, Gong Gong and Po Po just fell asleep?” She’s got very fond recollection of Gong Gong and Po Po.
“Yuh ~” I beamed at the lovely memory too.
“When we visited Gong Gong in the morgue, he really looked like he was in a sound sleep…” She recounted.
Frankly, I was a little taken aback by the words. But then again, it’s good if you can talk about death at ease.
“So were you scared?” I asked curiously.
“Nope. I wasn’t. But the music from the other room gave me the creeps.” She was referring to the chanting monks.
A sigh of relief. “Yuh, Gong Gong is happy with Jesus now, just like Meeloo, Milk Milk, Sesame and Coco Puff. When our time comes, we’ll meet again up there.”
Beam fell silent. I thought she must be ready for sleep which is the usual way we end the bedtime chat.
After a while, to my surprise, Beam talked again, “Actually, I’m missing Gong GOng very much…” I could tell that she was trying to restrain the deep sorrow as her voice cracked.
I turned and embraced her, “Me too. And I’m sure that Gong Gong is missing us very very much as well.” In Mummy’s reassuring arms, Beam finally let loose a stream of tears.
The death of a beloved family member is just so profound. I wonder when I’ll be able to get over it. Perhaps never will?
Beam Beam didn’t shed a tear for Dad’s passing, not even during the funeral. Only after we escorted the casket to the crematorium she whispered to me, “I almost cried just now.” I don’t think it means that she didn’t care or she was being cold-blooded. Beam is after all a very thoughtful child with a sensitive soul. Perhaps, it was the fact that I’d been so grieved at Dad’s untimely passing which made her decide to put away her own feelings so as to make the transition easier for me.
*sigh*… Well, Dad, see you around…
某個周末早晨，祥提醒我，Shoeshine 的爪爪鬆脫了，新加坡回來後我就答應要幫忙縫補的。Shoeshine 是我們住香港的時候，在一家專門進口日本精品的小店鋪買的小黑貓。
我拿出針線包，仔細檢查 Shoeshine 的爪爪。完好的那一隻，其實買了沒幾個月就鬆脫了，所以我們回臺灣的時候，是爸爸幫我們補的。不知怎的，那個畫面給人印象特別深刻：爸爸戴著老花眼鏡，在燈光下，一針一線細細地縫著。